NHRA Crowns Two Season Champions at Las Vegas

The Strip” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway played host to NHRA’s second to last event for the 2011 racing calendar.   The event crowned World Champions in both Pro Stock (Jason Line) and in GSA Pro Modified (Khalid Al Balooshi) while tightened up too the three remaining Full Throttle “Countdown to the Championship” chases….

EVENT ESSENTIALS:    Big O Tires Nationals – Oct. 27-30th, 2011 — Las Vegas NV 

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Del Worsham 3.823 318.77 32nd
R/UP: Spencer Massey 3.834 323.74  
Low ET: Del Worsham 3.796    
Top Speed: Rod Fuller   325.85  
Bump Spot:   3.897    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Ron Capps 4.109 311.34 33rd
R/UP: Johnny Gray 4.203 295.08  
Low ET: Ron Capps 4.080    
Top Speed: Ron Capps   315.49  
Bump Spot:   4.236    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Mike Edwards 6.641 208.30 32nd
R/UP: Allen Johnson 6.668 208.01  
Low ET: Mike Edwards 6.594    
Top Speed: Mike Edwards   208.84  
Bump Spot:   6.657    
Winner: Eddie Krawiec 6.936 194.30 11th
R/UP: Andrew Hines 6.995 192.96  
Low ET: Hector Arana III 6.879    
Top Speed: Eddie Krawiec   196.56  
Bump Spot:   7.067    
Winner: Leah Pruett 5.910 253.04 2nd
R/UP: Danny Rowe 5.940 243.55  
Low ET: Brad Personett 5.848    
Top Speed: Brad Personett   256.70  
Bump Spot:   6.117    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Class Winners: Name ET MPH  
TA Dragster Chris Demke 5.385 267.00  
TA Funny Car Tony Bartone 5.547 260.41  
Super Stock Peter Biondo 9.946 117.92  
Stock Jim Meador 11.04 108.81  
Super Comp Billy Torrence 9.030 176.19  
Super Gas Ed DeStaute 10.05 148.49  

Canada's Todd Lesenko is now 2 for 2 in NHRA Fuel FC event qualifying

Second World Championship Lined Up! 

Jason Line clinched his second NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock world championship as racing came to an end Sunday at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.   

Del Worsham, Ron Capps, Mike Edwards and Eddie Krawiec raced to wins in their respective categories at the penultimate race of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season.

Jason Line

Line entered the 2011 NHRA Countdown to the Championship second in the Pro Stock point standings. He then raced to three consecutive final round appearances, including wins in Dallas and Reading, in the first three races of the Countdown. In total, Line raced to six wins in eight final round appearances for the season and posted seven No. 1 qualifiers.

“It feels unbelievable to win my second championship,” said Line. “Timing is everything in our sport, and we got hot at the right time. The second championship definitely means more to me because as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate it and realized how hard these things really are to get.”

Line, who won his first NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock world championship in 2006, clinched his second title after he raced his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a semifinal round appearance Sunday inLas Vegas, home of his KB Racing team owner, Ken Black.

“It’s more important to clinch here thanPomonasince we have all of Ken Black’s family here and without them, none of this would be possible,” said Line. “We owe everything to them. Wish we could have given them an allSummitfinal, but at least we did this here.”

7th Win of Season for Worsham

In Top Fuel, Worsham raced to his seventh win of the season when he powered his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to a 3.823-second run at 318.77 mph past Spencer Massey. The win moved Worsham into the second spot in the point standings, two points behind leader Massey heading into the final race of the season.

“Today was Al-Anabi, Sheikh Khalid (Al-Thani, team owner), and our team,” said Worsham. “You can’t see the other guy, but there’s that feeling like when someone is staring at you and you know they’re there. I knew (Spencer Massey) was lurking. He never saw me either. When my win light cam on down there, I was proud.”

Del Worsham powered to his 7th win of the season in Top Fuel eliminator

Matco Tools dragster pilot Antron Brown sits third in the point standings, 14 points out of the lead, while defending world champion Larry Dixon sits fourth in the standings, 44 points behind leader Massey.

Push Back from Capps in FC

In Funny Car, Ron Capps defeated fellow Don Schumacher Racing teammate Johnny Gray to collect his second win of the season. Capps drove his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger to a 4.109 at 311.34 to secure his 33rd career win and fourth at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We’re fighting to get back into it,” said Capps. “As soon as you start celebrating the win at the top end, you also think, ‘Gosh, if it weren’t for that DNQ, we’d be right in the middle of it.’ I want to win the championship with Tim and Kim (Richards, crew chiefs). We’re going to try. I couldn’t believe that 4.10 in the final. I couldn’t believe the car stayed hooked up.”

Ron Capps surged to an impressive title in FC driving the Napa-sponsored Dodge

While Capps raced to the win, his teammate Matt Hagan took the points lead away from Jack Beckman. Hagan now leads Beckman by one point heading into the final race of the season, while third-place driver Cruz Pedregon sits 26 points behind leader Hagan and John Force Racing driver, Mike Neff, moved down to the fourth spot, 34 points out of the lead.

Mike Edwards raced to the win in Pro Stock when he powered his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP to a 6.641 at 208.30 past Allen Johnson in the final round. For Edwards, it was his fourth win of the season, 32nd of his career and third inLas Vegas.

“To win the race, to come out here and qualify really well, and put four rounds together, we’ve been trying to do that for the last six or seven races for sure,” said Edwards. “Actually, it’s been more than that, probably. But it feels good to come out and finally win a race. Hats off to all my guys for doing a tremendous job.”

Mike Edwards (far lane) defeated Allen Johnson in the Pro Stock event climax

Screamin’ Eagle Domination

In Pro Stock Motorcycle 2008 world champion Eddie Krawiec defeated fellow Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate when he powered his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.936 at 194.30 in the final round. It was Krawiec’s fourth win of the season and 11th of his career. The win also increased his points lead over second-place driver Hector Arana Jr. by 69 points.

“You know the most important thing here was consistency,” said Krawiec. “Round wins and round wins. And I’ve just been trying to work on my riding and being consistent. That’s the one thing that shows. No. 1 qualifying cracks don’t get you Wally’s and points at the end of the weekend. It’s an awesome points system that we have going for the past couple of years with all the categories. You can see that it’s really working and that it makes it good for the fans.”

The Vance & Hines Screamin' Eagle team dominated PSM Victory lane

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will head to Southern California for the final stop of the 2011 season, the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 10-13 at Auto Club Raceway atPomona.

NHRA Pro Results posted by: Zack Elcock

Team effort = Another Score for R2B2 Racing’s Pruett

Leah Pruett ended the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series season with back-to-back victories, but she didn’t win Sunday’s Big O Tires NHRA Nationals alone.

Pruett’s ProCare Rx turbo Mustang ate up some parts on the way to her ultimate victory over Danny Rowe, but the R2B2 crew was always there to fix the damage and keep the car consistent.

“This race is where the crew stood out,” Pruett said. “This R2B2 Mustang does have problems sometimes, but when you have the best crew in the world, that’s how you win. They shined through the thrashes we had to go through between the rounds.”

Leah Pruett took the awesome R2B2 Racing Turbo Mustang to it's 3rd win of the season in GSA Pro Mod

In the final, the Mustang’s consistency in the face of adversity shone through as Pruett ran a 5.910 second pass at 253.04 mph to more than handle series runner-up Rowe, who ran a 5.940 at 243.55 mph.

It’s the third straight victory for this particular car, and R2B2 Racing cars won three of the final four events of the season. The Mustang has yet to be beaten this season – a point in which Pruett takes great pride.

“Mission definitely accomplished. I think we ranLas Vegasout of its luck,” Pruett said.  “I’m so happy to end the season with a win. I can’t wait for next season to start. I love this turbo Mustang.”

Pruett dodged some close calls along the way to her victory. She was the beneficiary of her opponent fouling out in the first round on Saturday after her car struggled to get the motor started.

On Sunday, she was a holeshot winner over teammate Melanie Troxel in the semis. In that race, Pruett used a .012-second advantage at the starting line to hold off a hard-charging Troxel.

Troxel’s ET was quicker – 5.892 seconds at 253.85 mph to Pruett’s 5.897 at 251.20 mph, but the edge at the starting line translated to a .005-second margin of victory.

In the second round, Pruett beat Pete Farber with a run of 5.927 seconds at 249.95 mph. Farber was late off the line and ran a 6.152 at 237.38 mph.

“We’ve got the best hot rod in the class,” Pruett said. “It’s proven it over and over again – I can say over 12 times for every consecutive round win this car has made. It’s an in-house car, which makes us proud. If anyone is in the market for a Pro Mod car, our R2B2 Race Cars shop builds the best.”

Pruett ends the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series points in 16th place despite only racing five times.

During Saturday’s first round Khalid Balooshi clinched the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing world championship title.  

Khalid Al Balooshi's win in round one of GSA Pro Mod clinched the title

Balooshi claimed his first world championship and the $50,000 champion’s prize when he powered his Speedtech ’68 Camaro to a 5.956-seconds at 240.59 mph past Mike Janis in the first round of eliminations.

“This was such a great season for us,” said Balooshi. “I appreciate everyone who’s worked with us, our team, my team owner and everyone involved. I had such an amazing year and this just tops it off. I’m very excited.”

Balooshi’s world championship-winning season included race wins in Gainesville and the Las Vegas spring race, a final round appearance in Houston, and No. 1 qualifiers in Gainesville, and Atlanta.

Posted by: Craig Wack

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler

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